Archive for the 'Business Process' Category

Business and intuition

We have all had them – premonitions, gut feelings, the sense that something will happen before it does, knowing something we shouldn’t well before it seems logical or sensing something happening to someone close to you that is physically far from us…

Gut feelings… a sixth sense… by whatever name, intuitions can be informative. Many swear by them.

But in the investment world, mysteriously-generated feelings more often than not lead investors to make wealth-destroying decisions. In the business arena, the same is true – very capable, smart, hard working people travel down the wrong path with often devastating consequences. Working harder and harder based on a hunch or “opinion”.

There is a better way…

Nate Silver, statistics guru extraordinaire, put a face on the value of data and — when astutely analyzed — its ability to guide decision-makers toward the most desirable outcome. His CNN blog was widely followed during the 2012 American presidential election, because his statistical models proved more accurate than anyone else’s.

A year earlier, the Hollywood hit, Moneyball (originally published as a book), introduced the world to a unique idea: A data-driven, decision-making model can successfully overcome a lack of financial resources… allowing a stats-geek baseball recruiter to beat out deep-pocketed rivals who continued to rely on subjective intuition and gut feel.

When you look back, the writing’s been on the wall for years.
But very few want to read it.

The availability of troves of data — and the computer power needed to process it — has increased substantially over the last decade.

Yet, to some, the Big Data trend is scary.

The National Security Administration (NSA) spooked the world when Edward Snowden revealed the agency’s collection of massive quantities of our personal data. (Scary!)

Target stores reportedly have the ability to predict when a woman is pregnant — based on her spending patterns — even before she knew she was! (Scarier!)

And Twitter has analyzed billions of data points to determine which days of the week, and months of the year, we’re more likely to be happy. (Odd!) Here’s a graphic showing the analysis:

Twitter - Happy Day Of Week

Twitter, Target, and the NSA aside, financial markets are chock-full of data and, therefore, the ultimate playground for investors with a bent toward quantitative analysis. They even have their own nickname – quants!

If you’ve read my blogs for any length of time, you know I ONLY make decisions when my metrics show I have an edge…

I call it Management By Metrics.

Even though I am a fan of the power of the human spirit and readily admit that running a business is a balance of art and science, I NEVER make any major business (or investment) decision based on a gut feel. I am risk averse – why take a risk when you can reduce or eliminate it with some very simple, basic math?

I realise my pure and applied science and engineering background has influenced me. I spent several years immersed in the scientific method, which involves making observations about the real world, forming hypotheses (educated guesses) as to why the observations are what they are, and designing experiments to determine whether or not the hypothesis holds true.

Surprisingly, very few people in business use this method. Anecdotally I think it’s the popular aversion to mathematics as much as it is mental laziness. I am not suggesting you need to learn multivariate statistics, but just the use of Excel and a few simple formulas can take the guesswork out of most business decisions.

As The Exponential Growth Strategist, I facilitate our Platinum Program where you can learn the skills to acquire what I call 20/20 Foresight – being able to predict the future or manifest the future you seek for yourself or your business. Founded on scientific principles, it is with reach of anyone with a basic understanding of math and a hand-held calculator.

The science is straight forward and simple – the repercussions for you and your business can be, well…. astounding.

Contact us if you want to get past your hunches and gut feeling decisions that are letting you down or keeping you up at night with worry.

One thing that is crystal clear and most “experts” agree – the volatility and uncertainty we are currently facing is NOT going away anytime soon and in fact many agree it will get a lot worse before it gets better. It is the ‘new’ way of the world, well documented and well understood. We are in a cycle that will continue to play itself out in very predictable ways – well predictable for those who know what I am talking about!

Give us a call and we’ll introduce you to very exciting and valuable concepts like this one, that will put you back in the driver’s seat of your business (and your life) so you can steer in the direction of your goals and dreams and get to your ultimate destination (achieve your ultimate outcome).

Entrepreneur: Defined

Entrepreneur, EntrepreneurshipWhen I did my coursework for my Ph.D. in Business Administration, one of the things that initially surprised me was how academics couldn’t agree on seemingly simple definitions for terms such as Entrepreneur or Family Business.

I quickly realised that the definition of the word, theme or concept determines HOW you’re going to study or research it, so it becomes a circular argument that creates a lot of academic debate – most of it beneficial and some frankly wasteful and redundant.

That’s why, when I recently came across the definition of an entrepreneur by Howard Stevenson – one of the field’s most prominent researchers, I thought it worthy of sharing with you even though it was conceived almost 40 years ago.

It’s a timeless definition that might take some reflection to fully appreciate.

” Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity
without regard to resources currently controlled.”

Too many people associate entrepreneurs with risk taking. Entrepreneur don’t get  up in the morning saying “Where’s the most risk in today’s economy and how can I get some?”

With this definition that focused on entrepreneurship as a process, Stevenson’s definition opened the term to all kinds of people. Plus, it matched the one demographic fact Harvard Business School researchers already knew about entrepreneurs—they were more likely to start out poor than rich.

“They see an opportunity and don’t feel constrained from pursuing it because they lack resources,” explains Stevenson. “They’re used to making do without resources.”

The perception of opportunity in the absence of resources helps explain much of what differentiates entrepreneurial leadership from that of corporate administrators: the emphasis on team rather than hierarchy, fast decisions rather than deliberation, and equity rather than cash compensation.

What would you expect, asks Stevenson “When you don’t have the cash to boss people around, like in a corporation, you have to create a more horizontal organization. You hire people who want what you have and not what you don’t have.”

In other words, entrepreneurs offer their team members a larger share of a vision for a future payoff, rather than a smaller share of the meager resources at hand.

When you really think about it, opportunity is the only real resource small (startup) businesses have.

Give it some thought – after all the brightest and sharpest minds are still grappling with this and other definitions…

If you find others that are worth sharing, please share by placing a comment below!

Apple’s Cash Pooling

Cash Pooling, Apple Tax, Apple Tax PlanningAs you know, I am a huge fan(atic) of Apple‘s products – haven been for more than 20 years. Of course with great products and market-leading valuations means Apple gets a lot of news coverage. This week it’s about it’s overseas tax planning strategies and cash pooling.

Even though they are legitimate and legal, the popular press is all over it because of their recent declaration of a share buy back and establishing a dividend payment to shareholders.

Even though it makes for great headlines and sells newspapers and now online advertising, the reality is that these strategies are impossible if you can’t do what financial managers call Cash Pooling.

It’s quite sophisticated and all multi-billion corporations do it. Simply put, it’s knowing where your cash is so you can place and use it in the most effective place which usually involves tax considerations. As a business owner, it’s just another reminder that the practices of the “big boys” still applies to small business – especially those in high growth mode. Knowing where you cash is and having it where and when you need it can be the difference between growth and believe it or not – going bust.

Many high growth businesses (even profitable) ones run out of cash due to irregular cash flows and their timing. If you’re struggling with Excel spreadsheets to figure out where your cash is, you might want to consider an online cash management solution that goes well beyond your accounting and bookkeeping tasks.

Disclaimer: I am currently LONG on APPLE stock. I figure with $100 Billion in cash reserves, they have more than enough cash to deal with any competitors and technological challenges that will come up.

Strategy Versus Tactics

Business Coaching, Business Mentor, Business Coach, Business MentoringWe have all heard the expression “you need to work ON your business instead of IN it…

Easier said than done.

In fact, for most owner operators, it’s a transition they can never make.

The reason is simple: The personality traits that got them to go INTO business are exactly the ones that will keep them chained to the business, day in, day out.

Those personality traits create behaviours and habits that unfortunately most entrepreneurs can’t break. Sorry to be so pessimistic. It’s just the way it is.

Are you wondering if you’re one of the FEW who can make the transition?

If you are, you need to be:

  • Open minded
  • Flexible
  • Self aware

Otherwise you’re kidding yourself and will waste a lot of time money and effort on trying to change something that’s not going to change – YOU.

If you’re stubborn, intractable and think you’ve got it all figured out – “goodonya mate”. You’re all set and have “no worries”. She’ll be right mate.

If you’re open minded, flexible and self aware and want to work ON your business to grow it with less effort, have a look at my coaching and mentoring philosophy page. If it resonates with you, then contact us.

How To Grow Your Business

We all remember playing around with a Rubik’s Cube, getting close to solving it only to scramble it even more… Those frustrations are not all that different from business owners who try to grow their businesses…

Now there’s a special tool to help you grow your business – it’s called a Marc-Ka-Ching Kube!

Protect Your Startup With Insurance

Protect Your Startup With Insurance

Determining the right business insurance for your startup business requires careful analysis and thoughtful reflection.

With the proper investment of time and effort, you can figure out the most essential insurance products for your particular situation. As a matter of principle, you should review your needs with an experienced insurance representative so you can tap into his/her expertise and experience.

Business Coaching, Business Coach, Business MentorFirst, as a business owner, you need to accept you need insurance. The question is what kind?

You have to consider all of the aspects of your business activities to make sure you get the proper and adequate coverage. One way to make sure you do that properly is to have a detailed business plan.

Writing every past, current, and future task down in a business plan is necessary so you can quickly and easily explain what your business does to a complete stranger – the insurance representative.

Your business plan can consist of one page or dozens of pages but the business’ activities have to be clearly laid out so the company’s risks are brought to the surface.

For example,

  • Businesses that own property will require property insurance protection.
  • Even if you rent or lease your premises, you may be liable for other people’s property and need appropriate insurance. This includes leasehold items as well as plant and equipment purchased or leased from third party suppliers.
  • Since you use computers you need to consider special computer insurance (theft, vandalism).
  • Auto liability insurance is made for people who rent, lease or own cars in the name of the business.
  • Of course there is also workers compensation insurance to protect the well-being of employees.
  • One of the least well understood types of insurance is business income insurance for business people who do not have the cash flow or personal wealth to keep a business in operation should there be an interruption in business activity. It’s a form of disability insurance for the owner or key person in the business.
  • Then there’s general liability insurance needed for people who develop and sell products. Products or services that could inflict physical or psychological damage on a person should be covered by liability insurance in the case of a lawsuit. It’s also called professional liability insurance wherein specific professions and trades have detailed provisions, guidelines and/or regulations stipulating the minimum coverage required by law.

If you’re getting a little overwhelmed by all this – don’t despair. That’s what an insurance professional does for a living – make sense of all the options and possibilities to make sure you have enough coverage for your level of activity and risk profile.

Running a successful business always involves insurance. As the dictum goes, “expect the best, but plan for the worst”.

Any responsible business executive or entrepreneur who needs assistance can contact businessinsurance.org for a collection of reliable business insurance quotes.

No one can predict the future which is why insurance is so important and necessary.

Even the most prepared company can suffer from any number of emergencies at a moment’s notice – insurance is designed to provide peace of mind and financial protection and compensation should anything adverse happen.

Why Success Gets Harder For “Most” Entrepreneurs

Have you ever wondered why success gets harder as you become more successful?

It’s because of your opportunity costs that keep rising as you get more and more successful mixed with a short term focus on “making deals” and taking care of emergencies instead of working “on” the business…

It’s quite a dilemma that paralyses many entrepreneurs. They know they could do better, but remain stuck in the Vortex Of Mediocrity™.

So how do you break out of this stranglehold?

Simple – MAKE time to get away from the business. It can be a long weekend or ideally a whole week. PLAN for it so you’re not stressed and you don’t cheat.

Remove yourself COMPLETELY from the day-to-day pressures and DISCONNECT completely.

Then ask yourself the following questions:

  • If I was to start over again, what would I do differently? What would I change?
  • If I was a competitor, how would I exploit me/us?
  • What are we really good at?
  • What could we be really good at (or better at)?
  • If I knew I could not fail, what would I try?
  • What is the #1 complaint of the industry/marketplace that I can solve?\
  • What am I not doing that I should be doing?

You can’t have the thoughts to start to answer these questions while you’re knee deep in the intellectual quicksand of day-to-day operations.

You need distance.

You need your personal journal (you might even give MindMapping a go!)

You need to do this otherwise you’ll stagnate.

I do this exercise every year at Christmas time which conveniently coincides with my New Year’s Resolutions.

If you have a business trip planned, consider extending it by a day or two and take those unfamiliar surroundings to start the process. Once your business is done – check out of THAT hotel and check into another one t0 completely shift your mindset. I mean it. Pick a hotel near the beach, mountains or go upscale or totally rough and tough.

Make sure there is CONTRAST so that your brain registers the new impulses.

It’s necessary to jolt your system into a new realm, to get a new perspective.

Give it a go and see what happens!

4 Minutes To Explosive Growth

I love it when I learn my own lessons! I teach ambitious entrepreneurs and business executives how to find hidden opportunities in their businesses.

Opportunities that are sitting right there, under there noses…

That’s what happened to me today.

I figuratively tripped across a 4-minute audio that I completely forgot I had in my archives (I have more than 500 different electronic product components…)

It’s only 4 minutes, but it includes all of this!

Essential ingredients you NEED in your marketing to get
your PROFITS TO RISE FASTER than yeast in BREAD

  • These ideas will enable you to bring home up to quarter of a million dollars per year more instead of netting a profit that makes you feel you are working in a job (Just Over Broke)  (00:24)
  • Following these steps for improving your methods will bullet-proof your career and business so you will always lock in this much profit each year as a minimum (00:37)
  • Changing this one thing will minimize your risk so you will feel you’re working your way to the upper crust rather than picking up the crumbs of clientele from the bottom of the heap (00:47)
  • These vital ingredients enable you to look at things differently to get a bigger slice of the pie (00:54)
  • Making these small changes within your business each week for less than a hundred dollars can grow your profits by a factor of 157. (2:40)
  • Gaining new ideas on a daily basis provides the raw materials to get top-quality results within the first year (3:17)
  • Learning to think exponentially is like the air in your dough: it will help your brand, business and profits rise to peak levels (4:00)
  • The mindset you will gain from these distinctions will get people begging to give you their money so you will be rolling in dough (4:25) faster than you knead it!

Click here to access this 4-minute audio that reveals the 1 Percent Improvement Doctrine.

How To Add Value To Your Clients

Exponential Marketing has a cornerstone concept: Add value to your clients and they will come back and refer more clients to you. Easier said than done.

That’s why I’ve included a simple example: An Australia Post Postcard Fact Sheet that helps clients prepare their documents for direct mail.

The question for YOU is “What basic information, like this can you make available to your clients?”

The more information you make available, the easier it will be for them to do business with you = you’ll sell more.

When you’re exponential, you create Pathways To Profits™ that guide people through the path of least resistance preemptively, smoothly, creating a memorable and hopefully unique experience they will want to repeat themselves and advocate to others.

This is what we help our clients do – create a Business Building Blueprint™ that summarises these processes so everyone in the business knows what to do and ideally, automate them leveraging the Internet so the business transforms from an effort-based model to a value-based model.

How To Brand Your Company 3 of 4

I recently recorded a 1-hour Momentum MasterMind Session for our Business Mastery Platinum Program Members called “Bland to Brand”. It was a powerful session that highlighted the 8 mistakes people make naming their business and the 19 Steps to Naming Your Business. If you’d like to get your hands on this program, give us a call.

Part of the discussion involved the persona that we create within the branding exercise…

I was accepting invitations from people to link to me on LinkedIn.com. and was amazed at the wide variety of photos people have on their profiles… I am not sure if they know what it does for or against them.

You be the judge.

Which one is the IT Specialist?

Continue reading ‘How To Brand Your Company 3 of 4′

What Watching Australian Open Tennis Can Teach You About Running Your Business

Last week, I had the pleasure and privilege to attend the 2011 Australian Open Tennis Championship. In one of the semi-final matches, Novak Djokovic was playing the legendary Roger Federer and at one point had “vision problems”… Due to dry contact lenses.

So you’d think he would have eye drops in his bag…. Nope!

Can you believe that?!?!?

A multi-millionaire tennis player who wears contact lenses doesn’t have eye drops in his bag.

DUHHHH!!!!

But it gets WORSE.

Continue reading ‘What Watching Australian Open Tennis Can Teach You About Running Your Business’

Business Coaching Case Study: How To Become An Expert

I was recently working with a client, Bree Robbins of Paddington Pups in Brisbane. As her business coach and mentor, we were discussing how she can differentiate herself within her existing product and service offering.

I’m not advocating this is the primary theme, but rather a secondary or additional Pathway to Profit™.

When a dog attends a doggy day care it’s not just about having someone else bear the burden of keeping it for you. There are many socialisation skills your dog will benefit from.

For Bree to become an expert, she needs to start documenting what she already knows about dog socialisation skills. For example:

  • What are the steps to proper socialisation?
  • How is each one of the steps approached and how do you know it’s been ‘passed’ to move on to the next one?
  • What is necessary for each stage to occur?
  • What are the variables to be played with?
  • What are the most popular conditions to overcome?
  • What are the % of the most common afflictions?
  • What is the diagnosis and prognosis for each?
  • Aggression and unruliness, what are the tell tale signs?
  • Sources of the unwanted behaviour?

By documenting her expertise, Bree is able to demonstrate her level of skill and mastery across multiple media, including her blog, direct mail, classes and of course YouTube.

Grow sales with clear communication

If you want to grow your sales, you need to improve and enhance the clarity of your communications. One quick and easy way is to define what you mean when you use terms and definitions. For example, I explain all my exponential syntax, vocabulary and business definitions on a special page on this blog. I am constantly updating and revising it. If anyone needs clarification, I can cut and paste the URL in an email and instantly everything makes sense.

http://www.exponentialprograms.com/business/blog/definitions/

If something is still unclear, I can revise and update that particular definition, quickly and easily. Of course this has substantial SEO value, but that is a topic for my Internet Mastery Blog!

By having this tool, I can choose to use it whenever there is doubt or the need to reinforce a point of distinction.

With C.K. Prahalad’s Passing, The World Loses A Great Thought Leader

COIMBATORE KRISHNARAO PRAHALAD, universally known as C.K., was the most creative management thinker of his generation. He revolutionised thinking on two big subjects, business strategy and economic development, and made a significant contribution to a third, innovation. His admirers were legion, including bosses of some of the world’s biggest companies, heads of NGOs and founders of scrappy start-ups, not to mention MBA students the world over including yours truly.

Mr Prahalad burst onto the management scene with two path-breaking articles in the Harvard Business Review, “Strategic Intent” (1989) and “The Core Competence of the Corporation” (1990), and a bestselling book, “Competing for the Future” (1996), all co-written with his former pupil, Gary Hamel. “Core competence” remains one of the most frequently reprinted articles ever published by Harvard Business Review.

Click the URL to read the Economist Magazine’s summary of his stellar career and contribution to management thinking.

C K PrahaladIf you have never heard of C.K. Prahalad, it’s a shame because he’s given countless entrepreneurs the ‘keys to the vault’ – I integrate his teachings and methodologies within my Platinum Program curriculum.

I will be revealing some of my secret strategies at an upcoming series of events in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, I call it the Exponential Extravaganza because of the smorgasbord of stuff that I’m going to include… It’s the only chance you can get exposure to what and how I can guarantee RESULTS for my top clients.

I actually guarantee that for every $1 invested, my clients will make $3. I can’t do that unless my strategies work. They work because I not only learn stuff that most people never come across, but I APPLY what I learn in real-life situations. To learn more, come to the Exponential Extravaganza.

Management By Metrics: Numbers They’re Everywhere!

I teach my clients a strategy called Management By Metrics which is one of the strategies to compress their Pathways To Profits and create multiple Rivers Of Revenue. The sophisticated clients can use these metrics to Reverse For Results, re-creating any success they want, on command. It’s pretty powerful stuff. This short YouTube video was sent to me by Ian Faulkner, it proves that numbers and therefore METRICS are everywhere! Be sure to watch it to the very end!

Number from Gwen Francois on Vimeo.

I love this blog because I can quickly share stuff like this with you. If you’re keen to take your Next Best Step and make this year, your best year ever. Consider joining one of our programs. They start at an economical $97/month to ensure we keep these powerful strategies accessible to anyone who wants to create success for themselves – whatever that may be. More money or more time “off”…

Go on and take a look at the various streams we’ve developed – JUST FOR YOU.

www.ExponentialPrograms.com

Fads

I recently read “Flavor of the month: Why smart people fall for fads” by Joel Best, published in 2006, it’s a very interesting read. I thought page 101 was particularly valuable and at the same time funny.

The 6 Stages Of Institutional Fads

The 6 Stages Of Institutional Fads

It’s on my Linked In reading list if you want to find out more about what I thought about this book and other books that I think are worth reading.

Squash Videos A Case Study Of Management By Metrics

If you don’t already know, I am a competitive squash player, now ranked in the ‘top 20′ in the world in the Men’s 45-49 age category. I learned to play squash less than 10 years ago, have only played competitively for the past 5 years and have competed in less than 10 tournaments in my entire playing career. The reason I tell you this is because it’s an ‘easy’ analogy to use to explain what I call Management By Metrics.

Management By Metrics

Management By Metrics is about tracking and monitoring the things that change in your business that influence your results.

The squash analogy is that at the recent 2009 World Masters Games, where I achieved my personal best world ranking of 18, I filmed all my matches, analysing them and statistically assessing the winners and unforced errors I committed. In the 2009 Australian Masters Games where I reached a National Ranking of 12, I was playing too ‘safe’ – not making errors, but not playing enough winning ‘kill shots’.

With that in mind, I spent the last couple of weeks making sure I improved my shots and guess what? The difference was astonishing – I went from a ‘Top 50′ world ranking last year to the ‘Top 20′… In all my matches, more than 25% of my points won were winners – in one match it was more than 50%, from less than 10% in the previous competition less than one month prior.

The business lesson of this squash analogy is that by KNOWING what METRICS you want to manage – your ultimate success will be easier and much faster than you ever imagined.

On my Mindset Of A Champion Blog, I publicly stated that my goal for the 2009 and 2010 World Masters Squash Championships were a top 32 and top 16 finish – I achieved a ranking of 18 in 2009 and now am aiming at a Top 10 for 2010 – well ahead of my own expectations.

Management By Metrics is what it’s all about – tracking and monitoring what’s working and what’s not. By so doing, you can determine your Next Best Step and optimise your Pathways To Profits much more quickly and easily.

Want to learn to become a champion of business? Click on the hyperlink to atten a 3-hour Boardroom Briefing session to learn how Management By Metrics can help you get more out of your business – by working less than you are right now so you too can get back to your favorite sport, pick up a new one, spend more leisure time with friends and family or whatever fuels your spirit.

We’re hiring, looking for an Antimimeticisomorphic Coordinator…

Pass this on to anyone who you think might be interested… [SPECIAL DISTINCTIONS INCLUDED BELOW!]

Antimimeticisomorphic Coordinator

Working with one of the biggest names in the Australian business and personal development market, you’ll be exposed to cutting edge business and personal growth strategies on a daily basis. You won’t necessarily have been exposed to this industry before, however your strong computer and analytical skills and your drive to achieve will stand you in good stead in this high growth entrepreneurial company.

Your daily duties will include:

• Taking incoming calls from members and prospects
• Making outbound calls to confirm people’s attendance at events
• Intermediate to advanced Microsoft Office – especially Excel
• Database management – reporting, campaigns, sending mass emails, de-duping, cleansing, maintenance
• Event planning and support, where necessary
• Project/program planning and implementation
• Back office systems and internet content management
• Client relations for members

You will be:
• Detail/execution oriented
• Process-orientated
• Able to follow-through with tasks autonomously with minimal supervision
• Able to come up with solutions to problems
• A team player who can work within a small team and take the lead and accountability when necessary
• Able to communicate effectively verbally and in writing
• Self-motivated

Being the right fit for the current team is the most important attribute you can have – if you’re open to learning, and have the ability to take action with your own initiative, to follow through and anticipate the needs of the team around you, this opportunity certainly has the scope to become whatever you want to make of it.

Salary – $40,000 to $100,000 dependent on experience and results achieved.

If you’re keen, click here to do one of the required steps for consideration.

Onward and upward!
Marc

P.S.
If you’re not looking for employment, but you’re an Exponential Mindset enthusiast, this is just an example of ONE strategy you can use to find great staff. I am also going to post this on www.LinkedIn.com and other sites and let everyone I know know that I am looking for one extra-ordinary person to join our team. I know that the Law Of Attraction will work to produce the outcome we’re expecting!

As you can see, we have a SYSTEM we follow – the first one is the link above, we use a personality profiling system to make sure we match the person with the job/task description. This is one of the skills I will be teaching at our Advanced Business Mastery event in Melbourne next week. Systemising business processes to ensure a compression of our Pathways To Profits…